The History Of Commemorative Coins and Medals

Aside from their commercial and economical value and importance, coins have for a very long time been used to mark certain events, places or even remember historical people thus the reference as commemorative.

These coins were first issued in 1892, to mark 400 years of Columbus exploration of the world, but were halted in 1954 citing poor use of these special coins. Later commemorative coins became popular again and in 1982, under the authority of US Congress, they began to be minted with the George Washington 250th anniversary Half Dollar being the first one. This is the modern era for these coins and their issuance goes on even today because they are just so popular.

Although they are most common in America, the Romans are believed to have used them as signs of victory against their foes and also to coronate a monarch. Other areas like India, servants of the kingdom were given in order to gain benefaction.

The earlier coins were more valuable because they were made out of pure metals, but as time went by they became less valuable for some were made from base metals. These were circulated together as common currencies. Those that were not meant for general use had intricate and obscure patterns and designs imprinted on them and were loved by the numismatists, those who collect and study coins.

After the Second World War, coins were defied into two, circulating and non-circulating. The non-circulating were of pure metals thus were very rare, making the circulating ones more common for some more years to come. For example, in 1975 the West Germany replaced a copper-nickel mark coin for a silver one, same for the Soviet Union who issued a copper-zinc rupee as a commemoration of the world war victory.

In those days, the coins served different purposes like in East Germany some coins were issued purposely to earn foreign exchange. In the past centuries, unique coins were made to signify a new monarch and they were referred as largesse, same kind of purpose were also given in India during the Mughal or coinage era.

In Roman Empire, the coins referred to a military crusade and defeat of foreign powers and these occasionally represented political half truths and propaganda. Another reason to mint these coins was to finance the military and sometimes as an indemnity by feudal lord.

Issuance of the coins was during a special occasion. Such occasions were not necessarily clearly specified, and sometimes there had to be an emergency budget for the event. During that time the coins were minted on square flans instead of round, this was because making square coins was much easier than the circular ones. Such square coins were known as the ‘klippe.

These particular coins are often made from silver and gold, are used as source of revenue where certain countries commonly from the third world mint them for overseas markets. Also, they are used in marking tragedy and Olympic celebration as well as fund certain projects that may be special, especially in the modern era.

To get your coin collection started why not stop by and visit us at The Towermint. We stock a large range of collectible coins and medals, and you can even design your own.
Perfect for sporting events and clubs.

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